Valve analytics suggest room-scale VR is where it’s at

Now that the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift have had time to find their way to consumers and rack up some decent playing time, Valve have released statistics based on the last two months that reveal developers should look at room-scale VR.

According to Valve, of those players that use SteamVR, which is software running on either the Rift of Vive, 81.5 percent met the minimum requirements for supporting a room-scale setup. The benefit of utilising room-scale environments mean that the player would have more space to explore and interact with the virtual world. A majority of players are using their hardware in spaces with floors measuring at least 2 meters by 1.5 meters, with a little more than half of SteamVR users having space of at least 2 meters by 2.5 meters.

SteamVR defines the play space as:

[blockquote]It’s a rectangular area that players keep clear from floor to ceiling and developers keep their required interactive objects within. Room-scale VR requires a minimum of 2 x 1.5 meters, but VR applications may specify a larger minimum required size. Some VR content is designed to scale based on the Play Area size, effectively giving the best experience to players with a large Play Area while still supporting a smaller minimum size. SteamVR also supports Standing-Only VR which is simply defined as a 1 meter diameter circle.[/blockquote]

Given the ability for most customers to make use of the bigger space, Developers could begin optimising their apps for larger room-scale surroundings. According to the Valve analytics, at least 9 percent of users have spaces as large as 3 meters by 3 meters, and a further 6 percent who have been able to stretch out one side of a room to at least 3.5 meters.

While this doesn’t make too much difference for the Rift given the lack of hand controllers, the Vive clearly benefits from a larger playing space. The Oculus Rift is due to get support for larger areas with the release of the Oculus Touch controllers and tracking camera later this year, so would be an ideal time for developers to begin considering optimising virtual spaces for larger environments.

We want to hear from you – Have you made room for your virtual reality headset by shifting furniture in your house, or does your headset fit around your current surroundings? Drop us a comment below.

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